Phase O

860D41B5-60F5-4005-BE53-BC34EFC7C6EC.JPGYesterday, a friend told me she’d gotten a call from her doctor to talk about scheduling an non-Covid19-related procedure postponed since March.

The doctor said she should plan for it next week, or maybe the week after.

As she told me this, I walked myself through all the steps she was going to have to take, from opening the door of her apartment to arriving at the doctor’s office, and I could hardly get my head around them.  It turns out to be true: it takes a month to make new habits.  I can hardly fathom walking around outside at this point.  Taking the metro?  Seeing a movie?  Right now, I can’t even imagine ever wanting  to be that close to people.

Yesterday, also, younger daughter and I walked down the wide thoroughfare I haven’t set foot on since early March.  The plane trees in the median, bare then, are now completely gowned in hopeful green.  They rustled as we passed. 

There were sadder signs of change as well:  a bakery founded in 1933 with a For Rent  sign across its shuttered door, and two doors down, another one.

The New Normality will not, cannot, be the Old Normality.

We’ll inch toward it gradually here.  Our official lockdown doesn’t end for a while longer, but tomorrow is May Day and no one has virtual work or school.  Saturday we can each go out to exercise.  So I’m proclaiming this, today, the end of True Lockdown.

Funny how it works:  when there’s an end date to something in sight, you can stand it better. During La Cuarentena I didn’t complete the half-finished novel and I didn’t become a proficient yogini.  But I did clean the bathroom grout with a toothbrush and wash all the windows, and that’s got to serve for something. Today I’m planning something excessive and exuberant and time-consuming and ridiculous:  for the first and probably only time in my life, I’m  going to make croissants from scratch.

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